Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Whole Bowl (SE Hawthorne)

According to their website, The Whole Bowl has four locations in Portland, Oregon. On this day, I went to their "Superbowl" location on SE Hawthorne.

(While this location is not really a food cart, the other locations are, so I've classified this under the PDX Food Carts label anyway)

Perhaps the simplest menu one can find.
Not many choices to choose from here. Whole Bowl's signature dish, coming in two sizes (12 oz. Bambino
Bowl or their 16 oz. Big Bowl), consists of brown rice, black beans, red beans, avocado slices, cheddar cheese, black olives, sour cream, cilantro, salsa, and their secret Tali sauce. You can customize your bowl however you want, so you can even make the dish vegan (i.e., no sour cream and no cheese). I got the Bambino Bowl with no sour cream and extra Tali sauce ($5).

Very fast service here, as the woman running the establishment just piled everything into one bowl for my enjoyment.

I really liked this vegetarian dish. Taking a bite hits all the different taste buds and textures. The nuttiness of the brown rice, the creamy avocado, the smooth black and red beans, the refreshing salsa, the bite of the cilantro, etc. Everything just works.

As other people who have eaten here accurately state, the mustard-colored Tali sauce is seriously what makes this dish pop. Predictably (at least from the color), it has a tangy, mustardy taste, with hints of lemon and garlic also in the mix.

I would have liked a bit of heat in this dish, and I was hoping for the extra Tali sauce on the side. At least in the latter comment, I'm glad the woman just put the extra sauce in the bowl. That sauce is damn good. Overall, a lovely bowl of healthy vegetarian food that I would get again and again! 8.5/10

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